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The first series contains examples of:
- Growing the Beard: Louise Simonson taking over writing duties led to a more complex narrative, as well as the introduction of one of the franchise's most notable villains.
- Mis-blamed: There was no Pandering to the Base to bring Jean back. Nor was it Executive Meddling. It was simply that they finally figured out a way she could return without having killed five billion people. In fact it was executive meddling that kept her from returning until they found a way (Madelyne Pryor was even supposed to be Jean reincarnated until that was nixed).
- My Real Daddy: While Bob Layton started the series, it was Louise Simonson who really shaped it and introduced Apocalypse. She even did a mini-series, X-Factor Forever, to show what it would have been like had the entire premise of the title not changed.
- Never Live It Down: Cyclops leaving his wife Madelyne and their son to be on the team with the returned Jean Grey proved controversial, and wasn't easily forgotten. Chris Claremont went as far as to say that it destroyed Scott's character, and to this day he is often considered to be a jerkass. The later retcon, where Madelyne is revealed to be a clone of Jean and turns evil, didn't really help that much, because it was such an obvious attempt to do an Author's Saving Throw and salvage Cyclops as a character.
- Pandering to the Base: Bringing Jean back wasn't this, but the actual book itself was. Remember, the big selling point for the original X-Factor series was that it was reuniting the original five X-Men for the first time in years. You can bet that the base ate that up.
The second series contains examples of:
- My Real Daddy: Peter David is the man behind both the second and third series, and the title's name is now always linked to him.
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Madrox, who annoyed writers and artists alike for starting life as a visually boring and bland character whose superpower was to create visually boring copies of himself. It took Peter David's addition of creatively using his powers, a sense of humor and a philosophical side for the character to take off, and even after that, most writers still don't know what to do with him.